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Working with Cantemo Portal and Final Cut Pro X Libraries

Cantemo Portal libraries


Cantemo Portal is the Apple preferred Digital Asset Management tool for use with FCPX. Jonathan Eric Tyrrell takes a look at how the DAM handles Final Cut Pro X libraries.

Jonathan has written an article for FCP.co on how FCPX Libraries work with Cantemo Portal. For more explanation of what Cantemo Portal is and how it works, please be sure to read his excellent previous pieces.

Final Cut Pro X Project support in the new update to Cantemo Portal

An in depth look a Cantemo Portal and how it works with Final Cut Pro X

But back to the Jonathan's news. FCPX Libraries and Cantemo Portal:



The Library Asset

I like libraries. I like them a lot. I’m aware that I’m not alone in that either. Ask any editor working with Final Cut Pro today and they’re certain to have an opinion about the best strategy for how to get the most from libraries — how do you take your media, managed or linked? Like you, I’ve followed the discussions with intense interest and clamoured for the applications. I think it’s fair to say that libraries have represented another seismic shift in the way we use Final Cut Pro and a lot of us are still feeling the reverberations.

Amongst all this activity there are couple of questions I still need to see addressed. Apple defines libraries as “a new way to organize your work,” but who manages the libraries themselves? If you’re involved in collaborative work and function as part of team, how do you share libraries and media? Fortunately the latest update to the Cantemo Portal integration for Final Cut Pro X provides compelling answers.


As you can see in the video Cantemo have approached the challenge by understanding the library as an asset, something distinct and mostly critically an entity to be managed in its own right. To that end they have developed a comprehensive library management solution. Perhaps most importantly it’s a native solution. That means there’s no conversion or translation of the library data, Portal handles the library directly, which ensures the integrity and fidelity of your work at all times.



The integration also supports both managed and linked libraries. Crucially when you introduce Portal into your workflow media assets are managed at every stage of the production pipeline. It becomes your choice whether Portal manages the media or if files are handed off to Final Cut Pro. You control how the relationships are managed and can use Portal to facilitate the sharing of media and libraries between colleagues. This also means an editor can be accommodated even if they’re working remotely and don’t have access to the shared storage network.

When you first upload a library to Portal the Cantemo Agent application provides the opportunity to include any new media. Once files are known to Portal the only item you need to exchange between FCPX and Portal is the library you’re working with. Libraries are relatively lightweight files and when they’re bundled to send back and forth to Portal the transaction is incredibly fast. If you have been granted access you can also download a colleague’s library, even if they’re currently working with it and see the last changes they saved to Portal. Because it’s the library, you’ll see all of their projects, events, keyword collections and smart collections. In short, everything! And once you have that, you can move events into your own library or save a version of the library back to Portal as a new item. It’s a very flexible and fluid relationship.



If an editor is working remotely they can still log in to Portal and share libraries with colleagues. The only difference is that when a remote editor chooses to open a library in Final Cut Pro X the Cantemo Agent facilitates the download of all of the related media. Of course you’re at the mercy of your internet provider, but if a project is not too big and you’re working with compressed formats, this is surprisingly manageable. And if you don’t have the stomach or sufficient transfer allowance for the download, you could ask for a drive of media to be sent to you and work locally until you’re ready to upload the library.

Sending data back to Portal from a remote location is even easier. Unless you’ve added new media you only need send the library. And if the files were sent independently of Portal, but you know they’re already on the system, the Cantemo Agent can perform a checksum operation to relink the media. This type of thoroughness and attention to detail is emblematic of the entire integration.



These are interesting times for post-production and with NAB next week I’m sure we’re going to see all sorts of new developments within the FCPX ecosystem. It’s encouraging to see a company like Cantemo embrace Final Cut Pro and watch the solutions develop in parallel. I can’t wait to see where they will both go next.

If you want to learn more about Portal at NAB, Cantemo have a booth in the South Hall (SL6125) where you can meet the team and speak to one of the many partners on hand. Or you could visit me at the FCPXWORKS demo suite.


Jonathan Eric Tyrrell is a filmmaker, consultant and trainer for post post. He’s based in Victoria, British Columbia, but a roster of international clients has meant he’s developed a reputation for getting around. 

He writes a great blog on postpost.tv where you will find his contact details as well.



Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. 

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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